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Windstream’s Lousy Performance in Georgia Sparks Facebook Protest Group, Media Scrutiny

windstream-logoWhile Windstream continues to heavily lobby the Georgia legislature for a bill that would ban competition from publicly owned broadband providers, the company is doing little to address the growing concerns of its own broadband customers getting poor service.

Mark Wyatt, a Windstream customer fed up with not getting the broadband speeds he pays for, launched a Facebook group in January to collect evidence and attempt to leverage the company to fix its problems. Wyatt, like many other customers in rural Georgia, has only one option for broadband service — Windstream.

Now the growing Facebook group has gotten attention from an Atlanta reporter who wants customers to record videos detailing their broadband problems with Windstream for an upcoming news report.

Jeff Chirico at WGCL-TV, the Atlanta CBS affiliate, has a call out for videos due by March 6:

I’m a reporter for CBS Atlanta News. I want to hear from Windstream customers in Georgia about their experiences with the company’s Internet service. Please shoot a video (30 seconds or less) explaining the speed of Windstream’s service and how it impacts you, your family or your business. Please include your name and city and download it to our dropbox account. http://dropbox.yousendit.com/JamesEstes539379

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @CBSATLChirico or find me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/JeffChiricoCbsAtlanta

windstream speedtestThe horror stories are already clear all over Windstream’s service areas:

Don Jackson, who lives outside Milledgeville pays Windstream for 6/1Mbps service. On a good day, he gets 750kbps after 4pm every day, and speeds do not improve until the early morning hours.

“I talked with a local manager and he said that there is no solution anytime soon,” Jackson reported. “I have screen shots of speed tests from different sites for months to demonstrate that this is not a fluke but a fact. I have complaints on file with the FCC and BBB of Arkansas, [which handles complaints regarding Windstream].”

Adam Ridley qualified and pays for 3Mbps broadband service from Windstream, but that is not the speed he actually receives.

“It’s 9:40pm and I’m rocking my 210kbps connection — 7% of the speed I pay for,” he reported last night.

Rodney Gray pays Windstream a premium for 12Mbps service, but the phone company does not come close to delivering those speeds. His service actually ranges from 580kbps-1.4Mbps.

“My upload speed is faster than my download,” Gray complains.

A representative answering Windstream’s Complaint Line threatens a customer in Odum,. Ga. with legal action for “harassment” in June, 2012 after he complaints about Windstream’s mailers advertising DSL Internet service that is actually “not available to him this year.” (2 minutes)
You must remain on this page to hear the clip, or you can download the clip and listen later.

Kimberly Brown’s broadband problems with Windstream are so pervasive, even the company admits there is a problem, and they have given her service credits.

“Our primary problem is dropped connections — constantly,” Brown says. “They sent a technician out because surely it must be in our lines. He told us that there is something going on in one of the main hubs or whatever, and that it should be months (if ever) that it’s fixed. Then, customer service was suddenly able to look into our account and see that we had hundreds of dropped connections in just a few days. Hundreds. To their credit, they did give us a smallish break on our monthly bill because of the aggravation.”

broke windstreamA typical day for the Brown family is to wake up, reset the modem, send an e-mail or two, reset the modem, try to go to a web page, reset the modem.

“It’s crazy and extremely frustrating,” says Brown. “I work from home and rely heavily on the Internet to get my job done, so this problem affects us in many ways, not just casual web surfing.”

Things are worse for Mark B. Watson, who lost his service entirely for two days.

“The bad thing is that mine and my wife’s business is located in our house,” says Watson. “Being without Internet means we are not making an income for two days. It is getting old.”

While Windstream’s broadband service is suffering, company executives are celebrating a planned major reduction in extra investment in its broadband service, telling Wall Street its broadband expansion and fiber-for-cell-tower projects are nearing completion. That could leave rural Georgia broadband customers without improved service indefinitely.

At the same time, Windstream is reportedly the primary proponent of legislation that would make sure rural Georgians have no alternatives to choose from. The company’s support for HB 282, now working through the Georgia legislature, would prohibit communities from launching their own broadband services to improve connectivity and speeds.

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. James Cieloha says:

    I encourage all Windstream customers in Georgia to look at my own opinions and my own theories about broadband in Georgia and it can be found at the bottom at:

    http://stopthecap.com/2013/02/12/anti-competition-1-5mbps-is-good-enough-for-you-broadband-bill-before-georgia-legislators/

    Thank you for my understanding to the matter.

  2. MarkVS says:

    I have Windstream – but I’m in Lexington, KY and have zero issues with them. Why? Probably because Insight (now Time Warner Cable) is available to us as well. I guess it’s true the areas that have competition receive better service. Sad!

    I’m glad this is getting more attention

    • Glenda Moore says:

      Iam a windstream customer and haven’t had any issues with my broad band and I live in gray ga

  3. Nicholas Dunn says:

    I live in Arkansas and it is much the same. Rural area with no competitor and not enough Return on Investment to provide the proper solution in a timely manner. Internet gets shut off at my house from 4pm until roughly midnight every day as it is useless. Midnight to 8am…runs just fine.

  4. Floyd Murphy says:

    I live in rural Oklahoma and have had windstream for three years. No competition means that while paying for three megs and running at kbps and latency of 300 to 700 most days and night are common, very rarely see 1Mbps. Just talked to their broad band performance group, told it could be years before I see any improvement. One time I called windstream they had me go out side and fix the box myself!
    Should be against the law to take advantage of it’s customers as they do.

    september 19 2014

  5. DeanInNC says:

    I live in a suburb of Winston-Salem where I can get TWC or Windstream. Windstream employees flat out tell people “we suck” as I have to deal with them on a weekly basis. The big news on the residential side is they are planning on running some new twisted pair DSL service within the next year or two (worded exactly as Windstream told me) that will get up to 24mbps under ideal circumstances.

    Windstream is just incompetent. TWC us spending all it’s money on buying every politician in the state.

    I cant wait until the choice is Comcast at double the rate CAPPED or Windstream still trying to get from their claimed 5mbps DSL to 14 mbps.

    I know that the next time I move, it will be in a place that has Fiber to the house.

    If your only choice for broadband is Windstream then I really feel bad for you. Keep in mind that Uncle Sam gives them money for being a rural internet provider.

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